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Industry

Irish printer endorses September’s Print Show

With visitor numbers at the Print Week Live event held at the Wasps Arena in Coventry last week estimated at around the 2,000 mark, questions have been raised by some over the future of trade shows for the print industry.

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Richard McCarthy of Quinns the Printer in Belfast and Liverpool

Back in 2014, IPEX recorded some 23,000 visitors to its Excel venue in London, although this number was a substantial drop from 2010 when 50,000 passed through the doors of the show. Last year, numbers were down to around 7,000 at IPEX indicating a collapse in the once dominant print industry exhibition. IPEX’s numbers are dwarfed by the international show Drupa in Germany which attracted more than 260,000 visitors in 2016, although the show covers more than just print.

The success story for the UK has been the rise of the annual Print Show, which has seen an increase in the number of exhibitors and visitor numbers holding reasonably steady despite it moving to Telford last year. This year, the show is back at the NEC and is taking a September slot and is expected to see a healthy increase in visitors and exhibitors as it usurps the fading fortunes of IPEX. In an exclusive interview with Print Monthly at the Wasps Arena, Richard McCarthy of Quinns the Printer in Belfast and Liverpool said The Print Show had been good for business.

Trade shows aren’t dead. We went to The Print Show in Telford last year and we had, I think, 104 leads of which around 40 to 50 had become customers

He says: “Trade shows aren’t dead. We went to The Print Show in Telford last year and we had, I think, 104 leads of which around 40 to 50 had become customers. Some were making weekly orders.”

McCarthy says print shows are always beneficial and it is important to show your face and meet people. Although the firm is online, it was vital to build relationships with new customers and that was why they would be at The Print Show in September he said.

One trend has seen an increase in open days, as decision makers find it harder to find the time to attend shows, while the event in Coventry was really a networking and lecture event. As was pointed out by some at the Wasps Arena, once upon a time the whole workforce would go by coach to a trade show. A day out to see new kit - but as was pointed out by one exhibitor in Coventry - there was no kit to see at the arena.



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